Adobe CC 2015 put the focus on UI Design
Adobe over the years has focused on different industries every time they shipped a new version of their software. Adobe users had to wait years in-between large updates or complete overhauls to get the feature they had been pining for. Sometimes these extra features were geared to help photographers, sometimes print designers, and sometimes us mobile designers (if we got lucky). Now with Adobe CC, Adobe is able to innovate and push new versions and features on a monthly basis, always keeping their software at the cutting edge and giving us the right tools we need to do our jobs faster and more efficiently without the long wait.
For mobile designers, this year was like one Christmas present after another as Adobe had a strong focus in Photoshop CC for giving mobile designers better tools to get the job done. The biggest addition to the software (that I was almost doing back flips in the office over) was artboards! Finally I could have multiple iPhone screen designs side by side without having to have multiple files for each screen or layered group covering layered group to infinity. Dragging common elements between these artboards (like the nav bar) was made easier by having layers snap into the same place when dragged inside the layers fly out. I was pretty thrilled. On top of that, Adobe also added common mobile sizes into their “start a new project” menu. Previously, the default setting had been focused on print sizes and mobile designers had to make their own custom settings. This is no longer!
Additionally, Adobe is slowly rolling out something brand new and only in Beta. I’ve barely had a chance to play around in it yet. It’s called Design Space. It’s a new workspace within Photoshop that’s targeted specifically at UI designers. It’s a new minimalist workflow that keeps the focus on your work and trusts that you know where to find all the windows you need. It removes a lot of the extra clicks and intelligently starts to select the layer or item you really want. All the numeric fields now accept math so if you need a button to be 1/3 of the height of a toolbar you don’t have to do the math separately, you can do it right in Photoshop. The whole workspace is going to be a smarter way to work on UI. I can’t wait to see how this space is updated over the next few months as it’s rolled out.
As well as all the updates to the main CC platform, Adobe has been adding to their now huge suite of mobile apps. Instead of trying to make one mobile app that does everything I appreciate that Adobe has broken them up into small pieces so you only have to download the apps with the specific features that you need. There are so many features that you are able to access on mobile that you can then have automatically uploaded to your CC account. This gives you access to these files in your main program instantly so you can keep working. The seamlessness of all the Adobe products continues to be improved. I use Adobe Capture and Adobe Preview as part of my day to day suite of Adobe products that makes my job smoother.
I really appreciate all the changes Adobe has made this year and I’m really excited about the roll out of features coming in 2016. Everything they have been adding has helped my workflow as a designer and I really hope this trend of UX/UI focus continues into the next few years. Mobile and UI design isn’t going anywhere and I want to continue to see Adobe acknowledge that.